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Game 62: Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg in the west of Austria is worth visiting by train from the east because of the glorious, stupendous mountains and valleys you go through to get to it. Apart from’s really boring here. It’s definitely a Salzburg thing because Vienna is very grand and stately too and world renowned for classical music , but Vienna has a great vibrancy to it.

Salzburg is Mozart’s birthplace and don’t we know it : the maestros little red cheeks and wig stamped on everything from a chocolate violin to a lettuce.

This is a very conservative place. Usually there’s some kind of vibe to a city it’s stuck in neutral . There’s a whiff of wealth everywhere you go and too many tweed jackets for my liking. Shops sell things out of the price range for most mere mortals. Not that there’s anything wrong with having a few bob, but here it feels so well mannered and status led that I wanted to blast out Never Mind the Bollocks from 80 foot speakers at Mozart Platz.

As you can imagine, it took me a little while to get a game going today . I found myself in Residenzplatz, a very large square in old town which has the Residenzbrunnen at its centre , considered the largest Baroque fountain in Central Europe. I was feeling pretty baroque myself after shelling out a kings ransom for a cheese butty.

Finally, three great fellows from Munich agreed to a game . Luis , who fittingly is studying psychology in the city , said that trying to get a game going with Austrians this way in Salzburg would take a miracle . It goes against all cultural norms. See, told you it was boring .

These lads were far from boring . Three great mates, Luis, Lorenz and Robin put everything into the game , particularly Lorenz who spent a lot of time slipping and sliding and landing on his bum on this gravelly surface . I was on his side and to be fair to him, he put in twice the effort I did for our side . ( He’s got years on me guv) .

Robin was a technically excellent player; great close control and really hard to get the ball off. Luis had a bad habit of sticking out one of his big feet when it looked all the world like a goal for us . The game ebbed and flowed brilliantly , but still no participation from the locals who batted off my requests to play with a silken glove and a roll of the eyes.

Meanwhile the match reached 4-4. Its a wonder Lorenz had any arse left in his trousers by this point with all his falling over . Luis sealed it for the opposition with a neat finish.We spoke for a while after. They were all such easy going chaps and all heading for masters degrees. They’d loved the game and couldn’t understand Brexit at all. They all thought it was a hoax at first ! Robin and Lorenz had wanted to study their masters in England but the situation was too precarious .

Great game in a neutered world.

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